Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Alchemist & an Amaretto Blitz & Giveaway


The Alchemist and an Amaretto
Annette Marie
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound #5)
Published by: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Publication date: October 11th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
As a guild bartender, I can handle pretty much anything—mages, sorcerers, witches, the occasional demon. But show me anything family-related and I’d rather run for the hills. It doesn’t even have to be my family.
So I have no idea why I thought spending the holidays with Aaron’s mom and pop was a good idea.
Meeting his famous parents is already terrifying enough, but I’ve got a bigger problem. Students of his family’s renowned mage academy are being attacked on the grounds—and somehow no one has seen a single assailant? Unexplained tracks litter the nearby woods, rumors of forbidden alchemy are circulating the campus…and Ezra has been acting strangely since we arrived.
Something deadly is brewing in the shadow of Sinclair Academy, and the longer we take to uncover it, the more dangerous it becomes. But no matter the risk, we’ll protect the students.
And Aaron’s parents too, I suppose. If we have to.
Ezra stopped, hands on his hips as he surveyed the lazy slope that swept up to the towering manor. “All right. Time for our final sprint.”
I snorted. “Yeah, uh-huh.”
“I’m serious. We always finish our workouts with something competitive.”
Like competitive pushups. I shivered at the reminder.
“This is the starting line. That tree is the finish. First one there wins.”
“What’s the prize?” I folded my arms, eyeing the distance. Not that far but not twenty yards either. “You, Aaron, and Kai always bet something.”
He rubbed the hint of shadow along his jaw. “Winner’s choice, I guess.”
Ooh, I liked the sound of that. Grinning, I got into a starting position. “You’re on.”
He took the same position. Clearing his throat, he deepened his voice to mimic a sports announcer. “On your mark. Get set. G—”
“What’s that?” I gasped, pointing behind him.
He snapped around to look—and I launched into a mad sprint, arms pumping. Ezra swore and took off after me, but I had a head start. I would reach the finish first and totally win this.
Right as I drew level with the target tree, hands caught my waist. Ezra swept me off the ground, still running—an impossible feat if not for his inhuman strength. He stopped just past the tree, laughing too hard to hold me up. My back slid down his chest and my feet landed in the grass.
“I can’t believe I fell for that,” he said breathlessly. “You’re such a cheater.”
Whirling to face him, I smirked. “I was manufacturing a combat advantage, not cheating. Kai’s been teaching me.”
“A race isn’t combat.”
“Maybe I was running for my life.”
“From me?” He arched a playful eyebrow. “Does that mean you don’t like being chased?” “Depends who’s doing the chasing,” I shot back teasingly.
“Oh? So is it the chase you prefer, or the catch?”
I tossed my hair with pretend haughtiness. “You think you could catch me?”
“Pretty sure I already did.”
My heart did a crazy tumble through my chest and a grin stretched my mouth. I couldn’t hold it back any more than I could stop the blush heating my cheeks.
“Well,” I began dramatically, spreading my arms as I stepped backward, “do I look—”
My heel caught on a tree root hidden in the grass. Squealing, I pitched over, arms wind-milling. My back hit the ground, the air punched from my chest, and I blinked dazedly at the overcast sky.
Damn it.
Ezra’s face appeared above mine. He crouched at my side, his expression drawn into grave concern. “Tori, are you still with me?”
I choked on a laugh and whispered, “Ezra? Is that you?”
“I’m here.” He took my hand and patted it gently. “Just hang in there.”
I fluttered my fingers. “Everything is growing dark.”
“Go toward the light, Tori.”
My eyebrows quirked. “Shouldn’t I go away from the light?”
“It doesn’t have the same ring,” he decided. “You’ll have to go toward the light.”
“Toward the light it is.” I waited a moment. “Now what?”
He took my hands and folded them on my chest in the classic body-in-casket pose—and I lost it. Cackling with laughter, I sat up and checked the grass stain on my elbow.
“Next time, I’ll make you laugh first,” I promised. He grinned as he stood. “You can try.”

Author Bio:
Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.


Monday, October 7, 2019

Crowfall (Raven's Mark #3) by Ed McDonald

Crowfall (Raven's Mark, #3)

Crowfall is a gritty epic fantasy for fans of Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch, and Daniel Polansky.
'Dark, twisty and excellent...Grimdark with heart' Mark Lawrence.
A sorceress cataclysm has hit the Range, the final defensive line between the Republic and the immortal Deep Kings. 
Tormenting red rains sweep the land, new monstrosities feed on fear in the darkness, and the power of the Nameless, the gods who protect the Republic, lies broken. The Blackwing captains who serve them are being picked off one by one, and even immortals have learned what it means to die. Meanwhile, the Deep Kinds have only grown stronger and are poised to deliver a blow that will finally end the war. 
Ryhalt Galharrow stands apart from it all.
He has been deeper into the wasteland known as the Misery than ever before. It has grown within him - changed him - but all power comes with a price, and now the ghosts of his past, formerly confined to the Misery, walk with him everywhere.
They will even follow him, and the few surviving Blackwing captains, on one final mission into the darkness.


First of all, if you have not read the first two book in this series, please check out my reviews for Blackwing (book #1) and Ravencry (book #2) first! I will try not to give away too many spoilers from the first 2 books in this review, but it may happen. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. 

   Blackwing (Ravens' Mark #1)           Ravencry (Raven's Mark, #2)

Too many endings right now! First this one, then Broken Veil, the last book in the Harbinger series, by Jeff Wheeler. I definitely wasn't ready to say goodbye to the characters in either series. 

The first books in this series were awesome, so I had very high expectations going into this book. I truthfully was a little worried that it might not live up to my expectations, especially after certain characters died in the last book. I won't give up any spoilers though, in case you haven't read the first two books, year. However, again, if you haven't read the first two books, please stop reading this and go do that now, or at least check out my review of the first book HERE. 

I was impressed with how well the author did the last book in the series. Everything is pretty well wrapped up but still had the same all-around weirdness, just like the rest of the series. There was actually some crazy, new weirdness in this book that was pretty awesome. I wasn't sure how Ed McDonald was going to out-do the last ones, but he definitely did it.

Although some old friends were gone during this book, some other old friends reappeared, which made me really happy. I won't talk about that, though. Definitely don't want to spoil that! You should probably just go read the book!

I love Ed McDonald's humor! While this book does have some dark moments, and some gory moments, and some (a lot) of weird moments, there is also humor sprinkled in there, as well. 

Thank you to the author, the publishers, and NetGalley for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Crowfall (Raven's Mark, #3)